Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

November 10, 2004

World Cup 2006 | Record-breaker Robbie |

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 6:45 am

The News Review:

* Zurich still hoping for Euro 2008 status
* UEFA: Euro 2008 back on track
* End for Vogts long overdue
* World Cup 2006 | Record-breaker Robbie |
* Irish soccer | Farrelly hails unsung pair | eircom League Premier…
* Farcical Anarchic Ineptitude! – Irish Independent
* FA pardons sorry Beckham-Sport-Football-TimesOnline
* Vienna date for EXCO
* World Cup 2006 | The player ratings |
* World Cup 2006 | Israel coach comes in for criticism | eleven-a…

Zurich still hoping for Euro 2008 status – Oct 27, 2004
7 million Swiss Francs required for thetemporary upgrade. ‘We were able to show the association that the Letzigrundstadium offers a realistic chance for Zurich to host EuropeanChampionship football,’ said city councillor Kathrin Martelli ina news release on Wednesday. WELL ACCEPTED’We are quite happy with this announcement,’ Euro 2008 Swisstournament director Christian Mutschler told Reuters. ‘TheLetzigrund stadium is already well accepted by local residentswho recognise its importance to the area. ‘Also there is no commercial development attached to thisproject unlike the new Hardturm stadium (which incorporates ashopping centre), so we are not expecting to face the same sortof resistance with this plan. ‘The original Euro 2008 bid dossier presented by the Swissand Austrian football associations envisaged games being held ateight stadiums – four each in Austria and Switzerland. Two of the Swiss stadiums, Basel’s St Jakob Park andGeneva’s Stade de Geneve, are already in use while the newnational stadium in Bern is due to open in 2005.

UEFA: Euro 2008 back on track – Nov 9, 2004
9, 2004UEFA: Euro 2008 back on track Mark Ledsom BERN, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Preparations for the 2008 European championship are back on track, according to co-hosts the Swiss football association. The Swiss and European soccer’s governing body UEFA held ajoint media conference on Tuesday, in which they appeared tohave resolved their differences, most notably the current lackof a stadium for Zurich. The declaration came less than six weeks after thepublication of a leaked letter from UEFA warning the Swiss andtheir Austrian co-hosts that they might lose the tournament ifpreparations were not speeded up. ‘I think the information that UEFA’s executive committee wasgiven (when they wrote the letter) did not correspond to thedegree of preparation we already had,’ Swiss footballassociation president Ralph Zloczower told Reuters on Tuesday. ‘What made them nervous was the news that Zurich’s Hardturmstadium would not be ready in time for the championships. ‘But now we have a serious alternative project in the formof the city’s Letzigrund stadium, and we are really optimisticthat it can be finished by UEFA’s deadline of summer 2007. ‘Under the new proposal, 5,000 temporary seats will be addedto the renovated Letzigrund athletics stadium, bringing it up tothe 30,000 all-seater capacity required by UEFA, and givingSwitzerland the four international stadiums that it promised todeliver during the bidding process… General secretary Peter Gillieron said talks had taken placewith FC Sion about the possibility of staging Euro 2008 matchesat the club’s new stadium in the western town of Martigny. Responding to UEFA’s other concerns over stadium contracts,the Swiss FA said it had signed a tournament contract with theowners of Basel’s St Jakob stadium and that similar contractswere to be signed with the other stadiums in Bern and Geneva. The Austrian stadiums scheduled for use at Euro 2008 are inInnsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and the modernised 50,000 seatErnst Happel Stadium in Vienna, where the final is due to beheld on June 29, 2008. Your views on this story?.

End for Vogts long overdue
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 17, 2004
It was Taylor who travelled to meet Vogts on the board’s behalf nearly three years ago and who became convinced he could turn around the fortunes of the national side. Scotland cannot afford another misjudgment of that magnitude or our banishment to world football’s wilderness will become permanent. It is not indulging in hyperbole to suggest that Scotland need a saviour after the vandalism done to our standing in the game by Vogts. Gord Help Us suggests The Sun in its campaign, a reference to Gordon Strachan, whose status as the people’s choice was confirmed by the Tartan Army’s repeated chanting of his name in between telling Vogts to go to, ahem, Frankfurt, last Wednesday night. In a recent BBC interview, Strachan indicated that he could not refuse a call from his country. “I’m a Scotsman for goodness sake,” he said after the 3-0 defeat by Hungary in August. “How could you say no to something like that?” That was before Scotland’s World Cup hopes were wrecked by taking just two points from three games, two of them at home to our major rivals for a playoff place, the other away to the group’s undisputed minnows… “How could you say no to something like that?” That was before Scotland’s World Cup hopes were wrecked by taking just two points from three games, two of them at home to our major rivals for a playoff place, the other away to the group’s undisputed minnows. If Vogts’s intention was to make the post as unattractive as possible to any potential successor, he could scarcely have done a better job. Scotland’s next realistic chance of involvement at a major championship, the glory end of the international business, will be Euro 2008 and that is a long time for Strachan or any other successor to wait. Nevertheless, an appeal to his patriotism, coupled with a basic that matches the £525,000-a-year he picked up at Southampton, could succeed. It would allow Strachan to spend more time with his family, one of his reasons for quitting club management, and also continue his increasing media work. Besides undoubted tactical acumen, accumulated by serving his time at the poorer end of the Premiership with Coventry and Southampton, much as Martin O’Neill did at Leicester, the 47-year-old’s biggest attraction is his charisma. Strachan burst on the Scotland scene with a memorable winning goal away to Sweden at the outset of World Cup 82 qualifiers and would later be voted into the team of the finals despite the presence of the outstanding Brazilian and French midfielders of that era.

World Cup 2006 | Record-breaker Robbie | – Oct 13, 2004
Another Irish player was booked before the finish, skipper Kenny Cunningham sliding in with a mistimed tackle on John Petersen. Taking place around the half-way line with little immediate threat at hand, it was a poor decision by the captain. It is to be hoped that he will not rue it later in the campaign, as anyone who remembers the shambles in Basel last October, when Cunningham was forced to sit out the final Euro 2004 qualifier, will surely testify. So a job done by the Irish, and Kerr is right to be pleased with eight points from the first four games of the campaign. There is a long road yet to travel, and pitfalls await in Tel-Aviv and in the home games against the three qualification rivals, but the Ireland can be happy with top spot in Group Four until the serious business begins again next March. Republic of Ireland: Given ? Carr, Cunningham, O?Brien, O?Shea (Miller, 56) ? Finnan, Kilbane, Roy Keane, A. Reid (Doherty, 75) ? Robbie Keane, Duff.

Irish soccer | Farrelly hails unsung pair | eircom League Premier… – Oct 13, 2004
However, they have been in excellent form in midfield alliance in the past two games, helping Bohs into a winning position against St Patrick?s Athletic last Friday night, when a late lapse cost the Phibsboro side all three points, and joining up again in the 2-0 victory over leaders Shelbourne on Monday. Captain Hunt, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was available for that game after serving a one-match ban, but was unable to force his way back into the side, and Farrelly insists that he will not be able to drop either of the incumbents while they continue to perform to their current standard. ?The response since I?ve come in has been good,? Farrelly told the Irish Sun. ?If players in possession are doing well, I can?t drop them. Kevin is the captain of the club and is a terrific footballer. But how can you leave out James and Damien? Since they?ve come in, they?ve been terrific.

Farcical Anarchic Ineptitude! – Irish Independent
Irish Independent – Nov 6, 2004
The FAI trousered an extra €32,000 while the Irish team ran out to face 35,000 rabid Spaniards in the Parc Des Princes. Not surprisingly, they lost. Had the FAI stood firm and insisted on a proper neutral venue, such as London, the outcome might have been different. This time, it was John Giles, Noel Cantwell, Charlie Hurley, Tony Dunne, Joe Haverty and Andy McEvoy, who were entitled to feel let down. Foreign trips were a speciality of the FAI. Poland, hardly the most exotic venue, was visited seven times between 1964 and 1984, all for friendly games. For some reason, this jaunt seemed more popular with FAI officials than players… The vision of then CEO Bernard O’Byrne, eircom Park was supposed to cost €57m and be fully funded through sponsorships and pre-sale of corporate boxes and 10-year tickets. In the event, the price doubled, and the FAI, confronted by bankruptcy and Government objections, pulled back from the brink having lost €5m on the project. The joint bid with Scotland to stage the Euro 2008 finals defied sporting logic as the FAI possessed a dingy stadium in Lansdowne and had grand designs that another might be built in Abbotstown in time to stage the finals. An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had, after all, wooed it with a promise to build a stadium there. But Abbotstown never got off the ground and the sight of Uefa officials visiting potato fields in north Co Dublin illustrated the ridiculous nature of the bid, which was duly sunk without a trace, leaving the Scots in high dudgeon. Security has never been the strongest FAI point either. Before the visit of England to Lansdowne Road in February 1995, the FAI and the Garda took a softly-softly approach to warnings from British police that Combat 18 hooligans were Dublin-bound, intent on wreaking havoc.

FA pardons sorry Beckham-Sport-Football-TimesOnline
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 14, 2004
Afterwards, Eriksson said that he had never considered stripping Beckham of the armband despite his annoyance at his captain’s stupidity in admitting his guilt. “There is no way I should ever have doubted that David Beckham should be the captain,” the head coach said. “I have not heard or read his apology, but that is good, very good. That should be the end of the matter. Let’s finish it here. ” Beckham should find out in the next 48 hours if the FA intends to take the matter farther. He has laid himself open to a possible charge of bringing the game into disrepute, but he will have been reassured by the comments from Thompson.

Vienna date for EXCO – Nov 8, 2004
Penultimate meetingUEFA’s supreme executive body holds its penultimate meeting of the year in the Austrian capital as initial preparations continue for the 2008 UEFA European Championship final round, which is jointly being hosted by Austria and Switzerland. Gathering pacePreparations for 2008 are gathering pace. The Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) said recently that it was satisfied by the progress of work in Austria for UEFA EURO 2008™. “We are on time in all respects, we are moving forward well, and there are no problems,” said Austria’s new tournament director Christian Schmölzer, who added that preparation work on the stadiums was proceeding according to plan. Recent recruitmentSchmölzer recently replaced previous tournament director Alfred Ludwig, who has returned to his former position as general secretary of the ÖFB while remaining a consultant on EURO matters. 2012 timelineWith regard to the final round in 2012, the committee is to discuss the timeline for interested associations or countries considering joint bids to prepare and submit candidatures. Homegrown proposalsThe committee will also hear a progress report on UEFA’s recent proposals regarding homegrown players… Homegrown proposalsThe committee will also hear a progress report on UEFA’s recent proposals regarding homegrown players. In July, at its Conference of Presidents and General Secretaries of UEFA Member Associations in Lisbon, UEFA issued proposals for the inclusion of a minimum number of homegrown players (for example, seven or eight) out of the 18 players on match sheets, and a limitation on the number of players in club squads (for example, 25). Better balanceUEFA – which has been encouraged by the general response to its proposals – has expressed concern that some clubs are not training enough of their own players, but simply taking them from elsewhere. The proposed measures are designed to create a better balance in domestic competitions, prevent clubs from simply “hoarding” players in squads and create a system whereby homegrown players would be given a greater opportunity to play regularly in club sides – ensuring a large reservoir of talent for national teams as a consequence. Turf reportArtificial turf is also likely to bring decisions in Vienna, with the Executive Committee discussing UEFA’s activities and policies in this field. Pilot projects are under way at several European venues, as UEFA studies the possibility of major competition matches being played on artificial playing surfaces. Women’s formatOn the women’s football scene, the committee will debate the format of the European qualifying competition for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2007.

World Cup 2006 | The player ratings | – Oct 13, 2004
Starved of the action so much he forayed towards the half-way line for one touch midway through the first half. One save of note, from a Benjaminsen header in the final minutes. 6
Stephen Carr: Not as fluent as on Saturday and engaged in a few heated discussions with right side ally Steve Finnan after one or two movements went awry. Like the rest of the Irish side, failed to produce any killer crosses. 6
John O?Shea: Replaced on the hour mark by Miller, with Finnan going to left back. Improved upon a shaky display at the Stade de France, but that must be measured by the feeble opposition. 6
Kenny Cunningham: Little to do but hold his concentration, and that appeared to be beyond him in the final few minutes when he picked up a yellow card for a reckless foul… Played a key role in Robbie Keane?s second, first winning possession before feeding the ball to his namesake. Named Man of the Match but looked a little downbeat after a disappointing second half display by the team. 7
Kevin Kilbane: While not as dynamic as in France, KK offered more evidence of his growth into the role as Keane?s sidekick. Passing was better than often in the past, creating two excellent chances with precise balls forward. Also won plenty of possession and, though it barely needs saying, a willing runner to the last. 7
Steve Finnan: Finnan is undoubtedly better suited to blighting better teams than carving open the minnows, but kept going on the right hand side before switching to the back four for the last half hour following the withdrawal of John O?Shea. Offers good alternatives in a range of positions, and the feeling is that Ireland are better when he plays.

World Cup 2006 | Israel coach comes in for criticism | eleven-a… – Oct 13, 2004
Grant has already seen his side take a point against France in Paris and a win over Cyprus before last Saturday?s draw, which left them level on points with Ireland, the French and the Swiss. With two games against group minnows the Faroe Islands to come, Israel are well placed to challenge for a play-off place at least ? but even that is not enough to prevent the team boss from shipping a share of criticism. Jacob Shahar, the chairman of Maccabi Haifa, poured scorn on Grant?s selection policy, indicating that Israel would have performed better against the Swiss had Portsmouth?s former West Ham and Celtic veteran Eyal Berkovic been chosen in the squad ? although his argument was undermined by his admission that he was unaware of the playmaker?s present form or condition. Shahar said: “Berkovic is an excellent player of the highest level. I don’t know what his current ability is because I haven’t been following him, but you just don’t leave a player like that out of the squad. “It seems strange to me that [a veteran such as Avi] Nimni gets to play.

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